Strokes, common among the elderly, are extremely challenging for the human body. The occurrence of stroke impairs the connection between the neurological and muscular systems of the body.
As a person goes through such a challenging recovery. Caretakers from the family and loved ones bear the emotional and mental pain of seeing the patient struggle to recover and regain their mobility.
This article will guide you on how physical therapy works with the elderly requiring post-stroke rehabilitation.
The Need for Post-Stroke Therapy
People who experience a stroke often experience paralysis in one side of their body. They may lose functionality in an arm or leg. Even though the muscle may be toned and active, it may not function properly after the stroke.
Hence, those who survive stroke work with physical therapists to gain stimulation in their muscles unless they are able to perform smooth movements voluntarily. Physical therapy allows the patient to build better muscle contact with the brain and regain strength and control over the muscle’s mobility.
Benefits of Post-Stroke Physical Therapy for Elderly Patients
Post-stroke rehabilitation begins after 24 hours of the stroke. Physical therapy is not only perfect for the elderly for post-stroke rehabilitation. But more importantly, it will help to regain strength. Mobility and works effectively for incontinence problems as well. Those suffering from other chronic illnesses, such as arthritis, cancer pain. And Parkinson’s disease has also found great relief with physical therapy.
In addition to that, the physical therapist also ensures that the patient performs a physical exercise in a routine as it minimizes the risk of a second stroke.
Also, a therapist, who can be a friendly companion for the patient, allows them to nurture themselves to confront depression, stress, and anxiety which follow after the experience of stroke. The therapist understands the deep link between the mind and the muscular system and helps the patient to comprehend it easily. Physical therapy serves as a perfectly practical solution for older patients who have experienced a stroke.
A therapist would work with the patient and help them develop a proper timeline for recovery. The therapist being an excellent communicator would motivate the patient to perform physical exercises on a regular basis and note their progress.
In any case, it is critical that patients, who have experienced a stroke. Carefully follow the guidelines of their doctor as the patient is at significant health risk for at least the next five years after the first stroke.
The Need for Physical Therapy
As physical therapy is critical for effective rehabilitation following the stroke, it is essential that physical therapy becomes a part of a healthy regimen. Without regular effort towards physical therapy, the patient would not be able to stimulate their nervous system and repair the damaged contact between the brain and the muscular system.
According to a Physical Therapy Dallas consultant, “To build a solid routine for physical therapy, it would be suitable for the patient to follow the 3R technique. 3R stands for reminder, routine, and reward. The 3R technique is truly amazing for building a habit.”
The principle of guided structure states that actions or thoughts that trigger an important response need to be processed earlier to perform the required action in subsequence. The patient seeking physical therapy can use a kind of alarm for an everyday trigger for the brain.
The alarm will remind the brain that physical therapy is needed. Secondly, the person needs a strong commitment to build a routine and follow it. The patient must strive to incorporate physical exercise (recommended by the specialist) in their daily regimen.
Lastly, to reinforce practice, it may help a great deal if the patient pursues self-rewarding. Rewarding one for performing physical exercises in the routine would push the patient towards faster recovery, and more importantly. It would enable them to continue to exercise in the later years. Thus, with the 3R technique physical therapy could become part of the daily routine of stroke patients.
The 3R technique may be really helpful for caretakers when they are working with the patient. Physical therapy achieved through the 3R technique would allow the patient to set a routine. Abstain from smoking and alcohol and perform exercises while rewarding themselves. This will not only allow the patient to be more confident about their recovery but motivate them to continue to perform the exercise for an enduring period.
This technique with physical therapy may be extremely effective given that the brain requires a lot of time to reconnect with the muscles no matter how toned the muscles are.
How to Know that you Need Therapy?
It is extremely important that you find out what kind of therapy you require for rehabilitation after a stroke. As soon as you’re discharged from the hospital, visit your doctor for medical advice. You may soon be referred to a neurologist, who would diagnose the cause of nerve compression or injury. The neurologist would inform you of the critical injury.
Regardless of the severity of the stroke. You’ll be prescribed physical therapy for a few months to rehabilitate after the stroke. The first six weeks are really important to practice physical exercise and regain control over muscles. It is during these 6 weeks that the patient will be able to monitor good prospects of progress.
The prescription of the expert will also be dependent upon the complications involved, the age, health, and lifestyle requirements of the patient. As individual symptoms vary, the patient will be provided a specific, individualized physical therapy plan.
Communication is Critical
The American physical therapy Association recommends that the patient visiting the therapist should be free to ask questions. The patient may inquire about suitable care plans, how the therapist aims to work with them, and the protocols for communication and evaluation of progress.
It is essential that the person seeking treatment and. The caretaker is on the same page as they start the treatment. This will allow the patient to coordinate with the therapist in a better manner. And move forward with the therapy with a positive attitude.